Welcome to another episode of Peak Performance Leadership, where we explore the keys to leading high-performing teams and achieving exceptional results. In today’s episode, we have the privilege of delving into the world of leadership and management with our esteemed guest, Larry Yatch. With his extensive experience as a former military officer and member of the SEALs, Larry brings a unique perspective on leading in high-pressure environments. Get ready to gain valuable insights that can elevate your leadership game and transform your team’s performance.
Larry Yatch is an elite leadership strategist and the creator of the SEAL Success programs, a collection of skills-based training, workshops, and courses that enable high performers to find fulfillment, connect with their teams, and make a sustainable impact in their field. A graduate of the US Naval Academy and former ten-year officer in the Navy SEALs, Larry has spent nearly a decade since his retirement as a trainer and speaker, helping senior executives optimize their personal growth and leadership strategy for superior performance. In addition to numerous military honors, Larry is recognized as the go-to expert in leadership development, team performance, and project management.
During this interview Larry and I discuss the following topics:
- 00:05:08 Leadership requires focus, coordination, and resources. Management is a component of leadership.
- 00:08:49 Library, book on Navy SEALs, decided to be one.
- 00:10:38 SEAL wanted to operate, blow things up.
- 00:14:51 Managing driven personalities in a challenging environment.
- 00:16:51 Misconception: Leadership and management are taught in class.
- 00:19:10 Enable leadership, create effective action, infinite capability.
- 00:23:23 Different definitions of management and leadership.
- 00:28:45 All humans can lead. Titles not required.
- 00:29:49 Interesting take on leadership and coordination failures.
- 00:34:36 Seal mission planning: 19 plans, no ego.
- 00:38:06 Flawed education system hinders success, perpetuates struggle.
- 00:40:39 Produce optimized experience for team and clients.
- 00:44:43 Money doesn’t equal success; experiences do.
If you are interested in learning more about Larry’s resources be sure to check out the following links:
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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode.
Scott McCarthy [00:00:01]:
In episode 290 of the Peak Performance Leadership podcast, we’re speaking to former US Navy SEAL Larry Yatch, and he’s gonna tell you how you can coordinate your team to be effective just like a SEAL team. That’s right, folks. You’re gonna get coordinated just like the SEALs today. Are you ready for this? Alright. Let’s do it. Welcome, 1, welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast, a weekly podcast series dedicated to helping you hit peak performance across the 3 domains of leadership. Those being leading yourself, Leading your team and leading your organization. This podcast couples my 20 years of military experience as a senior Canadian army officer with world class guests bringing you the most complete podcast of leadership going.
Scott McCarthy [00:01:02]:
And for more, feel free to check out our website at movingforwardleadership.com. And with that, let’s get to the show. Yes. Welcome 1. Welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership podcast. It is Scott McCarthy, and thanks for coming out too. Another great episode. Super Stoked about this one.
Scott McCarthy [00:01:25]:
It is always great having, you know, a former military officer on the show, and no doubt a, you know, it’s always great having special operators like members of the SEALs coming on the show and ex you know, talk about their experiences and really talk about how they see leadership because they operate, you know, at that peak level all the time, and today is no different with Larry Yatch. And this show is a a ways in the making. We’re trying to get later on the show for quite some time, And, we’re able to finally do it. So I was happy to bring this one to you. And and, actually, before we even dive into the show, if you’re listening in real time right now, I just wanna Say, welcome from beautiful Rhode Island or sorry, Newport, Rhode Island. I am here. I’m on the advanced management program with the US Navy. Super interesting.
Scott McCarthy [00:02:25]:
Meet all kinds of Interesting folks having some fun while I’m at it. Just got the finished a delicious meal actually, and it is Fantastic. So if you’re in Newport and listening to the show and not one of my classmates who’s been forced to listen to my show for some unknown reason. But, nonetheless, if you’re from the area, do give me a shout out. I would love to hear from you. Beautiful part of the US, and it just feels great to actually be traveling again. So yeah. Anyway, let’s dive into leadership and not my journeys, Shall we? So today, we’re talking with former US Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch.
Scott McCarthy [00:03:06]:
And he is the author of the best selling book, How Leadership Quotes Actually Works. And couple points that Larry brings out in his book is our jobs as leaders from his perspective is to Coordinate action. Without coordination, nothing actually occurs. And the other thing that Larry talks about and I’m still reflecting on this. I’m not gonna lie. Am I 100% sold and bought into this idea that, I’m about to tell you of how he views things? No. I’m I’m going to be honest. I’m not 100% sold.
Scott McCarthy [00:03:53]:
But you know what? It’s always great to have other perspectives. That is life, and we need to have other perspectives. So I’m admitting that you know what? I’m still reflecting on this. And Larry kinda breaks Coordination and not quite leadership, but just, you know, being in a team down as 3 different roles. 1st role being the follower, self explanatory. 2nd role, being the leader and having the vision and drive and motivation behind an idea, And then the final step, being a manager and managing people’s time, Efforts, energy, resources, and etcetera. And Larry kinda argues that Our time is what I call being leaders are better set at being managers to make sure that our leaders are going in the right direction. And in some regards, I understand that, and I get it, and I agree with it.
Scott McCarthy [00:05:08]:
We have to do that. We, as leaders, from my standpoint, we do have to make sure our teams are focused and coordinated and Got the right resources and are moving in the right direction, going with where we need them to go, and doing the things that we need to do them. But on the other hand, I don’t believe in this whole dichotomy between management and leadership, and one is not the same. I believe that management is actually a component of leadership that we need to be able to be good managers to be good leaders. And this is kinda where we diverge. Not to say that Larry is not a fantastic guest because guess what? He He’s a fantastic guest. He does have all kinds of great points out there. Just wanna put out there that I’m not 100% onboard with everything he has to say, but I am not against what he has to say neither.
Scott McCarthy [00:06:07]:
So Take it how you want to take that. But, nonetheless, that is enough from me. So why don’t you sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with former US Navy SEAL Larry Larry, sir, welcome to the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. So good to have you here.
Larry Yatch [00:06:42]:
Thank you for having me. Oh,
Scott McCarthy [00:06:45]:
man. So I always love having former military and actually, I’ve even had active military on the show, just because Get that connection immediately. Right? Active, former. You know, we we’ve talked the lingo to each other. But first of the gate, you know, your your background is US Navy Seals. What brought you to the seals in the 1st place, and then perhaps even more pertinent to the audiences, why did you become an officer and want to be a leader within Such a league organization as it was.
Larry Yatch [00:07:21]:
So, the truth of the story is I saw top gun in 3rd grade And decided I was gonna be a fighter pilot before I left the movie theater, which is is How
Scott McCarthy [00:07:31]:
how fitting of timeline is that right now? Yeah.
Larry Yatch [00:07:35]:
It It’s crazy. My I haven’t seen my dad for 3 years. He’s so he came to visit and, brought him And my 2 boys to see Top Gun, this weekend. So it was really kinda cool to to go and, have that experience with with both my dad who brought me there the 1st time and then my have my boys there. And I have to admit, it made me wanna be a fighter pilot all over again. So, it started with that. So 3rd grade, saw Top Gun, decided I wanna be a fighter pilot. From there, I think my yeah.
Larry Yatch [00:08:11]:
I was really excited about it, so he showed me The Right Stuff, which is another movie. And in that, all the coolest ones are from the Naval Academy. So I was convinced by 4th grade that I was gonna go to the Naval Academy to be a fighter pilot And started working on that path at that point in time. Right? Like, it was one focus and that was it. And then in 7th grade, a friend of mine gave me a sweatshirt that said Navy SEALs on it for my birthday. And it was just because it said navy and had a cool logo. He had no idea what the seals were. I didn’t either.
Larry Yatch [00:08:49]:
This would have been, Like, late eighties, early nineties, no idea. And, I went to the the library and and Literally, in Dewey Decimal System looked up Navy SEALs, and there’s a book that they had, like, 3 books there. And one of them was the men with green faces. So I read that book, which is a Vietnam air seal book. And by the end of the book, I decided buy the pallets or pansies, and I needed to be a Navy SEAL. So that was it. The officer side of it came from the momentum of being focused on the Naval Academy really early on. So It was less of a decision that was made in that moment, more of just because I’d set it as a goal.
Larry Yatch [00:09:33]:
It was just kind of an expectation That that was the direction I was going. And ultimately, looking back, that’s one of the things I would’ve changed.
Scott McCarthy [00:09:45]:
So interesting. We we got a couple parallels going here. I not as early as you, although I’ve been told very young that I decided I was gonna go to the Royal Military College here in Canada. So, you know, click that to your your academy. Right? But that was great. Not. So I thought that was extremely young. You’re in grade 3 watching top
Larry Yatch [00:10:06]:
gun. I made that Yeah. 4th grade, I knew that man was set on Which is, like, kind of obscenely early.
Scott McCarthy [00:10:14]:
Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So I’ve been told, like, great time was too early, but Lo and behold, you’re beating me out here. And the officer aspect was, you know, for me too, it’s the same type of thing. It was like, oh, just by virtue of going to the college, I was gonna become officer. Therefore, I was gonna become a leader. Now that’s interesting you said though, if you were to redo it, that’s the one thing you would have changed.
Scott McCarthy [00:10:36]:
Why is that?
Larry Yatch [00:10:38]:
For a couple reasons. 1, as a SEAL, I wanted to operate. Right? Like, I wanted to blow things up and, You know, be a sniper and do all of those things, which isn’t it was much harder to do as an officer. Right? It your your job is To manage those leaders. And, as a SEAL, I’d say that community is one of the greatest communities Four officers to operate. Right? And and many of the other most of the other branches, even in most of the other special operations Community, the officers don’t get to to actually do the work, whereas at least the SEALs for for the 1st 5, 6 years, like, you get to operate. And then if you’re lucky, you can that out a little bit more. So one would be to to be able to do the roles that I wanted to do as a SEAL.
Larry Yatch [00:11:28]:
The second thing is, I was, you know, I’d say fortunate that going through the naval academy, I got to experienced leadership early on. Right? From the time I was nineteen, I was responsible for other midshipmen all the way both in the fleet and at the school. So I had that experience under my belt, but I didn’t have special operations leadership experience under my belt. So being able to be in to go the enlisted route for 2, 3 years, get that under my belt, gain that experience, and then and then go the officer route, I think, would have enabled me to, 1, operate longer, but, 2, be able to to lead from a place of experience versus, a place of not having any experience in the actual special operations portion
Scott McCarthy [00:12:18]:
Yeah. I know. It makes sense. I find myself now, especially at the rank of Of lieutenant colonel, it it it’s difficult to get there and operate per se because I’m very much operations focus, although I’m not a special operator. But right now, I sit in a unit that’s high readiness. So not quite special operations. Little bit Little bit, more more advanced than than just standard conventional force units per se. You know, I I basically show up to work every day not knowing if we’re going home at the end of the night because we could get a call to to deploy and start the mission somewhere.
Scott McCarthy [00:12:54]:
So, You know, you get frothy at the mouth. Right? You you wanna get you want you wanna get to doing something, and I I control a warehouse where we whole house of lack of equipment. And I go down and check it out, and it’s like, you know, I’ll be climbing into the trucks and and checking out all the different gear. And the church is like, what are you doing, sir? Like, Missed the spell diesel burning right now. Because you want you wanna be doing that stuff. Yeah. For sure. Let let let’s Let let’s talk a bit about the leadership, you know, leadership aspects of it.
Scott McCarthy [00:13:25]:
You know, as you as you went through your early career and stuff, What were some of the some of the tough lessons you had to learn, or or or did it come natural to you, as a leader to really motivate, you know, motivate your teams? As I told you before we hit record, we talked about 3 domains of leadership here. So leading yourself, leading your your team, and leading organization. Now across those 3 domains, what were some tough lessons you had to learn, as a junior officer going up through up through special operations? There’s
Larry Yatch [00:13:57]:
in in the environment that we’re operating in, it’s not a very forgiving environment because The men that I’m supposed to lead, one, they know to the core of their being that they’re stronger than me. They know to the core of their being they’re smarter than me. They’ve been conditioned to understand that if it’s humanly possible, they can do it, and most likely, they’re gonna do it better than everyone else. And if I make a bad choice, they die. Right? In that type of environment, there’s not a lot of leeway for bad leadership. You just don’t get a lot of chances. So I I would say there’s there’s a often a a sense of It was scary. Right? Like, it was it was an intimidating place to hold knowing that I can’t make a mistake, yet I I don’t have a a base of experience to To base all of my decisions off of.
Larry Yatch [00:14:51]:
So that I’d say that environment was a challenging environment to work in. One of the biggest lessons that I learned in leading men like that was I didn’t have to motivate my guys. Right? That wasn’t something I had to do ever. If anything, I had to hold them back from doing stuff because they’re such hardcore driven personalities. So being able to manage them into the right mission sets, into the right actions was a challenge. And one of the best ways to doing that was They needed to understand why we were doing something all the time, which has become a a a very important lesson for what I’m doing In the civilian world as well. Right? That ability to very clearly and accurately explain the the purpose behind the mission, the why, the desired end that we’re trying to produce was critical for for harnessing these wild stallions that just wanna run. And when you don’t let them run, they wanna Break stuff.
Larry Yatch [00:15:51]:
So it’s a very, you know, tenuous environment that you’re in when you’re dealing with special operators.
Scott McCarthy [00:15:58]:
Yeah. It’s funny. I was talking to some people, civilians, and they’re like, oh, you have it easy as the military because everyone’s motivated and And their discipline and all this stuff, but but you actually very eloquently describe the problem that comes off also with that is that, You know, you kinda gotta harness it and and push it in the right direction and make sure that it goes in the right direction and not everywhere. So, you know, that that desired end state is crucial. I know you’re right about it a lot in your in your book, and you speak a lot about it. We’ll definitely get into it for sure. But let let’s let’s talk about, you know, harnessing these teams and and and leading them in that right direction. What are some of the tips out there for the leaders listening That that you could give them and say, okay.
Scott McCarthy [00:16:43]:
This is how we need to guide our teams to the right direction when they’re dealing with these types of scenarios.
Larry Yatch [00:16:51]:
I would say the the most important thing to understand, which is actually one of the greatest, I would say misconceptions of how leadership and management works. It’s one of the this Principle, I think, is one of the biggest it’s a foundational principle about what I read about in the book, and it’s definitely a foundational principle of what we When we work with companies, when we change this paradigm, performance increases dramatically. And and I figured this out not in the teams. Right. A misconception when people hear what what what I teach and or what’s in the books or what are in our, you know, our course content For our clients, they assume that that was taught to me. Right? These distinctions that I’m gonna share with you were just taught to me in a class, and then we leveraged it. And it wasn’t like that. In the seals, it was sink or swim.
Larry Yatch [00:17:43]:
Like, you either led well or you you were fired. Like, you didn’t get to be there. There was no, like, let’s Teach you how to do this. You just had to step up and do it. Being able to perform at that level was a challenge, but most of us were ready for that challenge. I then go into the civilian world, start my civilian companies, and all of a sudden, the teams aren’t performing at all. Right? I that distinction or that difference between high functioning teams in the seals and the low functioning teams that I was I had created myself and my businesses offered me the opportunity to see what was different different, and that’s where this this concept comes out of. The the core understanding of leadership and management is backwards.
Larry Yatch [00:18:29]:
Right? The common understanding of leadership is that there’s A visionary leader in the front, leading the way for the troops, and managers are a necessary requirement for putting the leader’s vision into practice. So that’s the common understanding. The that is completely backwards. If I would have stepped into a SEAL platoon as the visionary leader that knew the answers in the direction of where we’re going And it was up to them as the grunch to just get it done. I would have not lasted a day. It was it was the inverse. Right. I was the manager of leaders.
Larry Yatch [00:19:10]:
Right? So my job was not to lead my men. My job was to create and enable leadership at all levels within the organization. When I’m the visionary leader with managers that are implementing my Vision, I can get more done than I can get done by myself, but I’m limited. If my job is to create leaders all around me and manage those leaders into effective action, then I I’m ultimately infinite in my capability and capacity. So that distinction that a manager’s job is to create, enable, and support leaders, And a leader’s job is to evoke effective action in others is a major distinction or change from the traditional understanding of a visionary leader with with managers that implement their vision. So that would be the biggest piece the biggest lesson that I learned In those high functioning teams versus what’s commonly held in the civilian
Scott McCarthy [00:20:11]:
world. It it was when I read the book, it was definitely, moment for me. And, because I have my own thoughts around this, and everyone and their dog has their thoughts around it. But I think ours are not exactly this, you know, same, but they’re highly compatible. I believe that, I I I believe management is actually a core aspect of leadership. I can give you I can give all kinds of examples where, you know, quote, unquote leaders run their companies to the ground to the poor management. Right? And that’s across all of the different domains and stuff
Larry Yatch [00:20:48]:
like this. Right? Because there’s ton tons
Scott McCarthy [00:20:50]:
of mud there. Yet, at the same time, managers who don’t have less than necessary, quote unquote, leadership skills, you know, Their their companies also crumble too because there’s they’re that visionary that pushed them to the next level doesn’t exist. Therefore, they they don’t innovate. They don’t they don’t push forward, and suddenly, you know, another company comes up and overshadows them. So very similar. I I I just like how you break it down. You talked about, though, their, creating leaders across all the levels of the organization, and you believe that is the, You know, core core role of a a manager so
Larry Yatch [00:21:26]:
that and I like the
Scott McCarthy [00:21:27]:
way you put it so you basically can have, you know, leaders everywhere that are kind of a mirror of yourself. So for the leaders that are listening to this, how would they go about achieving that?
Larry Yatch [00:21:41]:
So our Our language is critical. Right? When you say the word manager or leader leadership management, everyone brings their own background of experience around those terms to the conversation, and we make the assumption that just because we speak English, we mean the same thing. And that’s to me the biggest shortcoming. Right. You and I probably have very similar views on tact like, the specifics of what needs to be done in these different roles. We’re just using different words for it. So what I I first do is establish a a real clarity around the words that I’m using and what they mean So that we can then coordinate action saying that these are mine. Right? My distinction what makes leadership distinct from management to me is not right or, you know, the best.
Larry Yatch [00:22:34]:
It’s just the most effective thing I’ve found. And as long as we share the same understanding, we can coordinate action around that. So right now in most organizations and for the leaders listening, I I would go go do this experiment. Go to the person that if you’re in the middle. Right? Meaning, someone you have someone who has positional authority above you, and you have positional authority above someone Right? So the that’s the hardest role because you are both a manager, a leader, and a follower at different points in time. If you were to ask your manager, the person that has positional authority above you, what is management, what is leadership, What is a leader? What is a manager? They’ll have hopefully, they have an answer. It probably won’t be good and clear. It’ll probably be a set of examples.
Larry Yatch [00:23:23]:
If you then ask the person underneath you, what is management, what is leadership, what is leading, what is managing, You’re gonna get a different answer, most likely not very clear and with different examples. Oftentimes, there is conflict. Right? What I think of his management is what you think of his leadership. What you think of his leadership is what I think of his management. When I ask you to manage a project, you’re thinking lead a project when I want you to actually manage it. When I’m thinking when I’m asking you to lead the pro lead be a leader within the project I’m managing, you think manage it instead of lead it, right, that creates problems everywhere. So the first step is to draw a line in the stand and say for our organization, for our team, this is what lead leading means. This is what managing means.
Larry Yatch [00:24:13]:
This is what leadership is. This is what management is management is. This is what the actions that we expect around those. That if you ask our anyone in my organization, top, middle, or bottom, from the newest employee to the one that’s been around the longest, What is leadership? What is management? What is leading? What is managing? What behaviors do we expect as a manager? What behaviors do we expect as a leader? You would get the exact same answers word for word from every single person. That is the first step to creating highly coordinated action. I don’t what your definition is, as long as it’s consistent, as long as it’s clear, as long as it’s actionable, as long as everyone in the organization holds the same one, it’ll work.
Scott McCarthy [00:24:59]:
Love that. I found that section particularly interesting as I read through your book for sure. And and it just went. It was like a crystal bulb went on and yeah. I read a lot. During this gig, I read
Larry Yatch [00:25:13]:
a lot because they got
Scott McCarthy [00:25:15]:
A ton of authors who who, who come who come on the show. Basically, everyone who comes on show every week has has a book that they’re talking about slash presenting or whatever. Right? So, I read a ton. And that’s the first time that I’ve come across that type of of written work regarding language and the importance of language. And just As you summed it up, yeah, it doesn’t matter as long as we have a common understanding. And one of the things, I do. So I I host a a mastermind community, the leader growth mastermind and with weekly calls, and and I provide them with Curator content every week and stuff like this. And today, I threw them a challenge just randomly in our in our group and said, hey.
Scott McCarthy [00:25:56]:
Email when you if one of your subordinates or for people who are actually not even leaders yet, but there’s yet in the mastermind because they wanna Grow so that they’re better prepared when you get there, I said, or a coworker and just be appreciative of something they’ve done lately. Right. So I do challenges like that. So I actually took a note. A challenge in the future will be have a have a sit down with with your supervisor 1 on 1 And make sure that you both understand the definitions as you said it so that now they will have a better understanding of what they mean. So and and so what you
Larry Yatch [00:26:32]:
what you just said is really interesting. You have people in your mastermind, right, that are not leaders yet. Now I would argue that they’re not a manager yet. Right? A manager has positional authority. Right. Every manager has a title, and and from that position authority, they are responsible for the behaviors and actions of others. Right. Everyone leads from the perspective of a leader’s job is to evoke effective action in someone else.
Larry Yatch [00:27:05]:
Right? Because we know that there are managers that don’t lead. Right? There are managers that don’t evoke effective action directly in other people. And there are individuals that don’t have a title, don’t have positional authority that often evoke effective action in someone else. Therefore, they’re leading. And that’s why that distinction is so important. Right? Anyone that directly evokes action in another is leading. Anyone that is taking effective action is following, and anyone that has positional authority, meaning you have a title, You have the obligation to manage and the choice to lead. And ultimately, a manager that has to directly evoke action in someone else is doing a shitty job managing.
Larry Yatch [00:27:50]:
Right. My job as an officer in the SEALs was to do nothing. If I did anything, I failed in producing an environment where my men are Ineffective action. Right. They should always be coming to me like, you don’t do anything around here. Right. What do you do? You sit in the office and eat cake like what’s going on? If that they’re saying that, then I’m doing my job managing well because they are always in taking effective action. They know exactly what actions to take.
Larry Yatch [00:28:18]:
They have all the the skills, the knowledge. They have all the support to do it. They’re not getting bothered by anyone above us Stopping them from being in effective action, and they’re able to dance between leading and following without me directing it. If I do that, I appear like I’m doing nothing. I I I fully
Scott McCarthy [00:28:38]:
agree with you. Yeah. Good good catch on the, the word for sure. But yeah. You’re you’re
Larry Yatch [00:28:45]:
absolutely Absolutely. It’s empowering, right, for you like, it’s empowering to know that it’s bold that anyone there’s not 1 person out here that has lived, that has not led another human being into some effective action. Therefore, we are all leaders. Do we all have potential to lead at a better level? Of course. Are we all managers? No. We all don’t have titles. You know, the title is what gives us the positional authority and the responsibility to manage, But we are all leaders, and we all have always been leaders. Go to a playground, and you can watch kids switch between leading and managing A 100 times with no one having any issues with it.
Larry Yatch [00:29:26]:
We get trained out of leadership Because we’re born leaders. One of the best leaders in the world is a newborn baby. They can get any adult to do anything around them And encourage effective action for them. So we are born leaders. We we train ourselves out of it, or we get trained out of it by society.
Scott McCarthy [00:29:49]:
That’s a super interesting take on it. I must said, I I it it really is. And it kind of flips as you said at the beginning of the show, you know, it flips it on its head for sure because we all have this, you know, thought process for sure that The leaders are up there and then and then it’s kinda managers, but I I I definitely don’t like, you know, your your thought of it. You know? You’re Basically, a a manager of leaders to make sure that, as you say, they’re taking, you know, taking effective action. And, you know, and the big thing in your book that you’ve You’ve talked to us, you know, the coordination. Right? The coordination aspect of it. So so with that from from, you know, leadership or man management for you, perspective. What are some of the, some of the areas regarding coordination Where you find people are failing out there, and and how can the listeners out there make sure that they’re doing it right?
Larry Yatch [00:30:46]:
I I I answer this always from when I left the seals and started building teams in business, I failed at it. Like, I wish I could say it was a home run out of the park, but it was a it was not. It was a disaster. We produced great results, but at a significant cost, both personally and for the team the members of the team. And That trap of high perform like, as a high performer, I’m never gonna fail, but I will burn some people out on the way to to, quote, unquote, success. And in that environment, it provide me with an opportunity to see, like, what was different. You know, what did we take for granted in the seals that didn’t exist in the civilian And so I think that’s the the best way to answer your question is there are 3 core things that as a seal, I took for granted, like, like, breathing. Like, I didn’t think about it.
Larry Yatch [00:31:41]:
You don’t think about breathing until it’s taken away from you if this was the same thing. And when I got into the civilian world, I again just took for granted that these things existed and they didn’t and that caused the problems. So the first one is the ability to hold responsibility. Right? It was It was take I took it for granted that if the SEAL said he was gonna commit it to doing something, that he was gonna do it. And he did all the time. Like, it was I can probably count on one hand the number of times that a SEAL made a commitment and failed to to meet it. And most of the time, they outperformed the standard of performance. Like, if I expected them to do x, they would do 10% more.
Larry Yatch [00:32:29]:
I would say 10% of the time, they do 40% more. Like, hey. Do the inventory on the radio equipment. They come back saying, I built a I built a software program that automates radio inventory. Like, well, I didn’t ask you to do that. I just asked you to count how many radios were there. Like, it was that level of performance all the time. In the civilian world, if one of my people did 50% of what they were going to said they were gonna do To an 80% standard, they were a high performer.
Larry Yatch [00:32:57]:
Like, it is amazing to me. And The biggest failure that I see in civilian teams is loose commitments. Making a commitment to hold hold a responsibility and not doing it. So that’s the first one. The second thing is as seals, the training beat any ego out of you. Ego killed. Right? If if I knew better, if I knew the answer, then I’m gonna miss the more effective path. So they make sure that that ego that that ego that drives us to those actions gets beaten out of you.
Larry Yatch [00:33:32]:
That also created an environment where you could give direct feedback to someone, which again was just like breathing. Like, they committed to me to hold a responsibility. They either held it or they didn’t. If they if they didn’t, I could give them direct feedback on either how to hold it better or find out why they didn’t. They were good with it. They would implement it. In the civilian world, if someone made a commitment, didn’t do it, and I brought up why didn’t you do it, they I have people crying. I I couldn’t understand it.
Larry Yatch [00:34:03]:
Right? The fact that I’m not all I’m doing is asking asking for Why you didn’t do something you said you’re gonna do and there would be an issue. So that ability to give, receive, and implement feedback is the next huge piece of coordinating action. The last piece is planning. Like, I it blew blows me away in the civilian world that in most companies, they’ll do Strategic planning once a year, and then after that, it’s it’s all for all for yourself. Like, figure it out. Like, here’s your goal. Go figure out how to do it yourself. No one plans for anything.
Larry Yatch [00:34:36]:
As a SEAL, we had 19 plans for every mission. Right? We we never failed to plan. We always plan to fail. That planning to fail those contingencies, identification of contingencies ahead of time followed on the heels of having no ego, Knowing that those solving those problems before we went in the field saved our lives. So those 3 pieces of being able to hold responsibility, Being able to to give, receive, and implement feedback, the ability to plan and ultimately plan for failure before it’s important, That is the the I’d say the 3 foundations of coordinating action at a high level and the things that are so sorely missing in the scoring world from my
Scott McCarthy [00:35:24]:
Man, we have such overlap of experiences working with with Copies out there. My biggest things, is is accountability.
Larry Yatch [00:35:34]:
So it kinda overlaps your first thing. I know responsibility.
Scott McCarthy [00:35:38]:
You’re right. A huge issue with accountability. I feel like they’re like, oh, he’s not doing like, well, have you talked to him? Well, no. But he knows what he’s supposed to do. Right? Mommy. No. No. He doesn’t.
Scott McCarthy [00:35:52]:
Until you actually tell him that what he needs to do or what he’s doing wrong, he’s just gonna keep doing the status quo. And then the the ego thing, absolutely. And the ego thing I always find interesting, and I find it’s It’s a bit driven because,
Larry Yatch [00:36:05]:
you know, like, oh, you’re
Scott McCarthy [00:36:06]:
you know, especially in sales. You’re a top salesman. Salesman of the year. Salesman of the year. Salesman of the year. Congratulations. You promoted me to manager of sales, and all of a sudden you suck. And I’m like, why? But they have an ego.
Scott McCarthy [00:36:16]:
And it’s like, well, no. Duh. You’ve been telling them for years they’re the best. They’re the best. They’re the best. And and you’re getting them all these awards and then they show up before they ever happen. A huge ego. And the planning planning thing just drives me.
Larry Yatch [00:36:29]:
I I I was like, they have this goal.
Scott McCarthy [00:36:31]:
There’s 2 things I find when planning, when I work with my semi clients. It’s either they don’t understand backwards planning. He desired end state and working their way back to achieve it, or they don’t understand alignment. And making sure all the different pieces of the pie across the organization are one to meet the overture. Yes. Go coordination. Yeah. Accord well, not not not not just coordination, but alignment.
Scott McCarthy [00:36:58]:
So for example, I was working with 1 client who’s in sales, senior VP of sales for his company. If he achieved his sales goal, he would break the operational arm Oh, yeah. Of the company because they would not be able to produce enough of their product To meet his sales goal. I’m like Yep. Like, this, like, this doesn’t work. Like, one one aspect cannot Be at the detriment of the other, especially when you’re talking about 2 core things, operations and sales. It just blew my mind. I just, couldn’t believe it.
Scott McCarthy [00:37:33]:
So one thing you mentioned, that, you you talked about you you skimmed out quickly and that was burnout. I know you talked about it in your book about, you know, yourself burning out. You talked about burning others. So what were the lessons you’ve learned there through your experience on leading yourself and making sure that you as a leader, you keep on top of your game, and at the same time, you don’t destroy your your team in achieving your goals, but allow instead to uplift everyone to go even further.
Larry Yatch [00:38:06]:
So, our We’ve been conditioned to understand success in a way that guarantees that we can’t achieve it. We’ve been conditioned that based on a school system that was designed during the industrial revolution to provide factory workers to factories. We no longer rely on factory workers or or factories in the traditional sense. So the the school system is based on a A system of work hard today, get it get little treats along the way, and, ultimately, you’ll be able to be successful in the future if you work hard enough. So we have an idea that success is in is a Making a goal or objective and achieving it. And we all understand that hard work and suffering is necessary for achieving any goals or objectives that are worthwhile. If that’s the case, then we will live a life of struggle. We meet our goal or objective.
Larry Yatch [00:39:07]:
We experienced success for a few seconds or a minute or 2, and then we set another goal or objective that we struggle to. That will lead to a life of struggle Interspersed with these little treats, waiting for the big payoff at the end when we retire. That time may never come. So by being a high performer, we know that that we can work harder and struggle worse or better than anyone else, Which will produce the biggest results and will lead us to a life of never experiencing success on a daily basis. What I’ve come to learn is that success is not a goal or objective to achieve. That’s accomplishments. Right. This is where I go back to precision and language.
Larry Yatch [00:39:50]:
If you set our goal or objective and you you produce or meet that goal or objective, you are producing an accomplishment. Success is an experience that a human has. So success is a feeling, not a thing. Right. I can’t buy success. I could have a buy whatever car I want or whatever house I wanted that doesn’t Produce an experience a positive experience that is an accomplishment to achieve. So our distinction for success is An optimized daily experience that’s sustainable over time. Shifting from a concept of struggle today for a gift tomorrow into the concept that my goal is to produce and optimize daily experience for me and make that sustainable over time.
Larry Yatch [00:40:39]:
Produce an optimized daily experience and make it sustainable over time for my team and produce an optimized daily experience sustainable over time for my clients. Sole purpose of a business is to produce feelings of success in the clients, our team, and the owners of the business. If we do that, Then we get to experience success on a daily basis. So that’s the biggest thing that has has allowed me to not be leading myself burnout. I have to put focus on what the daily experience I have is. I have to put focus on what the daily experience of my team is, And I have to put focus on what the experience of my clients is with my organization. If all of those are optimized and sustainable, Then I not only will have a successful business, meaning a successful experience, but I will produce big accomplishments as well.
Scott McCarthy [00:41:35]:
I really like that. I like the I like the definition, especially the experience of success. And and I you talked a little bit in your book, and it was Eye opening. Ian, the language aspect to your hook was was awesome. I I really like that. And it just you know, it’s eye opening. He’s like, you know what? Yeah. He’s right.
Scott McCarthy [00:41:52]:
Like, Oh, you’ve been successful because, you know, I’ve been told that, oh, because you’ve been born so young and blah blah blah, and you have this and you have that. Well, Now I’m successful because the the podcast brings me joy. I get to talk to amazing folks like yourself. And and sorry to say, you’re not the, you’re you’re not the 1st seal I’ve had on the show. We have to talk to a a number of seals from Mark Devine to, John Gil and John Havlik and, there’s more Yatch. But anyway, but still, you know, some big company, execs and all kinds of there. And and some some small company exec, owners who have done some great things as leaders. So it’s like it’s that feeling.
Scott McCarthy [00:42:37]:
And then, you know, and just talking to my mastermind, you know, and seeing them, actually 1 person, messaged us, this week saying, hey. I’m going to miss your call this week the call group call this week, and it’s because I signed I’ve dropped something that I’ve not enjoyed, and we were talking about, you know, routines and, we’ve gone to on the topic of physical fitness and how it’s a great stress reliever and all this stuff. And she was saying how, she hasn’t done anything lately. Well, moral story, she’s dropped dropped things, and now she’s picked up tennis, which Was a love that she had long ago, but she had let it go. And now she’s like she’s excited.
Larry Yatch [00:43:15]:
I’m like, that makes,
Scott McCarthy [00:43:17]:
you know, makes me feel good. And now after reading a book and chatting with you here today, it’s like, that’s success. Yeah. That’s just a feeling of success right there. Sure. Yes. That’s awesome. Someone else that
Larry Yatch [00:43:28]:
is, you know, moving in a better direction today than what they were yesterday. So well, why why do we why do we strive to produce more money? What’s the core reason? There’s a couple. There’s 2 or 3, but but they always come to the
Scott McCarthy [00:43:44]:
same thing. I would say prestige is 1, like, just the, you know, the The, you know, the illusion of prestige, I e, and as well as people just want more
Larry Yatch [00:43:56]:
stuff. Why do you want more stuff?
Scott McCarthy [00:44:00]:
Probably back to the prestige thing, I would say. Right. Why else?
Larry Yatch [00:44:05]:
That’s 1. What why else? Why would you why do you buy a a new sports car or a boat or a new house? The real what’s the core driver beyond just to someone else to see it? Uh-huh. Tell me. The experience.
Scott McCarthy [00:44:25]:
Yeah. That’s what I was thinking. I I I know about the house, but the boat, definitely.
Larry Yatch [00:44:30]:
Right. That’s the core reason. Right? Like, the core reason that we we buy money. The 4th first piece is security. We gotta take care of security first. Right. Once we take care of security, we start buying our wants. Right? Our needs are taken care of.
Larry Yatch [00:44:43]:
We start getting into our wants. Why do we have wants? We have wants to be able to produce good experiences. Right? Why do I want an a bigger house or a nicer house For the experience of living in that house, why do I want a nicer car, faster car for the experience of living in that? Why do I buy a boat to be able to spend time with loved ones doing something I Enjoy. So the only reason that we strive for money or more money is to be able to buy experiences. Well, if you spend your whole life miserable producing and collecting money, never using that money to produce In optimized daily experience, you have not you are not successful regardless of how much money you have. Right? I have a number of of clients that have Upwards of half a $1,000,000,000, and some of them are the most miserable they have the worst experience miserable experience of life, Yet they could buy anything in the world because they’ve actually come to the put place to know that buying something doesn’t produce a feeling of success. It’s enjoying the things that you buy with the people that you love that gives you a feeling of success. And if you don’t do that at the of earning more money, you will never win.
Scott McCarthy [00:46:01]:
No. There’s so much truth in there. Actually, I remember hearing a statistic. Believe it was around 80,000 US for the states. I believe it’s around 80 k. Maybe maybe it’s probably running Now a 100 k. But, anyway, that’s the point where people live comfortably, and after that, the increases in pay become negligible.
Larry Yatch [00:46:21]:
To yeah. To wipe all day of life. Yeah. A guy from I think it was Harvard did a study around happiness. That’s the that’s what you’re referencing. And he was he was tying, the increase in dollars earned to the increase of happiness the dollars brought. And he found that there is diminishing it was very sharp. Right? Like, when you go from 0 to 30 k, like, it’s a lot of happiness comes.
Larry Yatch [00:46:49]:
Right. Then it starts to slow down up to about 80,000. I think now with inflation, we’re probably talking a 100, 120. Right? But after that, Increases in money brought deep less, happiness. And, eventually, it turns to a negative where The cost of producing the money decreases the happiness experience. So you actually get to a point of diminishing returns where Not only do your returns become lower, they actually become negative. Where that that that’s why I have no desires to to be a billionaire. I’ve seen what it takes Through direct contact coaching and work with people that have $1,000,000,000.
Larry Yatch [00:47:28]:
And the life that it requires to have that much money is not Going to produce the experience that I want on a daily basis. My happiness will not it would be impossible to produce that result and have the life and happiness that I
Scott McCarthy [00:47:45]:
want. Man, what a diverse conversation today. We’ve talked about Language and happiness and money and then leading high performing teams and everything else in between. Larry, this has been fantastic. Before we wrap up the show, though, we got a couple last questions for you. The first is a question asked all the guests here at the Peak Performance Solution Podcast. As according to you, Larry Yatch, what makes a great leader?
Larry Yatch [00:48:12]:
Or in your case, manager. Well, it depends. Right? So, you know, if we’re talking about leaders from my perspective, which is directly evoking effective action another. Let’s stick with that. Right? What what does it take to be a great leader? Understanding the purpose of those that and when I mean purpose, that which drives them Forward, understanding the the purpose of the individual and creating alignment between that purpose and the purpose of the team Will will drive effective leadership 10 times out of 10.
Scott McCarthy [00:48:57]:
Yeah. That’s awesome. Follow-up question of the show. How can people find you, follow you, be part of your journey, grab a copy of your book? It’s all the year
Larry Yatch [00:49:06]:
on that. Yeah. So within that piece, as we’ve said, launched a book just over a month ago. This book is taken our 10 years of experience working with what what are large companies and given us the opportunity to share that with Individuals. The title of the book is how leadership actually works. You can find it on, Amazon, Audible, all of those areas. If you go to how leadership actually works .com, the book website, That’s the best place to get in contact with us. You can find the book there.
Larry Yatch [00:49:45]:
We have some, Assessment software we built for larger companies and assessing, where they’re coordinating action well and where they aren’t that we’ve offered on that side as well. And, we just we just launched a a group for individuals to be able to implement lessons from the book. So all of that can be found at how leadership actually works.
Scott McCarthy [00:50:09]:
And for you to listen as easy as always, just go to leed del vase forward slash 230. 230, and the links are insurance. Larry, my friend, thanks for coming out and talking to us today.
Larry Yatch [00:50:21]:
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Scott McCarthy [00:50:30]:
And that’s a wrap for this episode, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting The peak performance leadership podcast. But you know what you could do to truly support the podcast and know that’s not leaving a rating and review? It’s simply helping a friend, And that is helping a friend by sharing this episode with them if you think this would resonate with them and help them elevate Their performance level, whether that’s within themselves, their teams, or their organization. So do that. Help me. Help a friend Win win all around, and, hey, you look like a great friend at the same time. So just hit that little share button on your app, And then feel free to fire this episode to anyone that you feel would benefit from it.
Scott McCarthy [00:51:20]:
Finally, There’s always more. There’s always more lessons around being the highest performing leader that you can possibly be, Whether that’s for yourself, your team, or your organization, so why don’t you subscribe? Subscribe to the show via moving forward leadership .com Forward slash subscribe. Until next time, we don’t boss, and thanks for coming out. Take care now.